Saying Bye to Open Sky
Big changes are coming to Open Sky, but I won’t be around to see them happen. As you may or may not have known, I have had my Open Sky store since August. I sold a variety of products and most of them we had tried out ourselves and liked. Open Sky was all about buying from someone you know and trust. Many blogs had their own store and were selling products that they had reviewed themselves. It was about just an average person telling their friends (readers) about products and having them all in one spot for purchase.
At the beginning of January, I got a call from Andrew at Open Sky who wanted to give me a heads up on some upcoming changes to Open Sky for 2011. What he told me was definitely NOT what I had expected and basically put me out of business. He went to explain that Open Sky was doing a complete shift in how they do business. Instead of people going to visit my store and browsing my products, they would be sent a weekly email with one product that I recommend and that they could purchase at a discount. I would not be considered a “seller” anymore, but rather a “curator”. The kicker? I would need to find 4000 followers on Open Sky by March to be considered “active”.
I knew then and there when Andrew mentioned the 4000 followers thing that I was done. There was no way I was going to find 4000 people to sign up for my weekly emails in a matter of less than 2 months. It took me over 2 years to get as many Google Friend Connect Followers as I have and I would imagine it would take me longer to find 4000 people willing to be spammed each week by Open Sky trying to sell them a product.
Andrew informed me that they are moving towards people with large followings like celebrities to sell their products. So much for buying from someone you know and trust right? These celebrities have millions of fans and hits to their site so it won’t be an issue for them to get the followers. As for the regular people like me? We are kicked to the curb. That’s how I feel and I know that other sellers who are in the same boat as me feel the same. Some have even written posts about it that you can check out here and here.
I knew something was up on Open Sky when their home page changed and they started featuring just certain stores. I wondered why they were playing favourites, but didn’t think much of it at the time. I totally get it now. They were trying to build up these stores and forget about the rest of us. They have approximately 20 curators…so that leaves 95% of the community in the dust.
I am done with Open Sky and feel sad that I wasted so much time building a store and sharing their platform with my readers and friends. If anything, I would say buy directly from the company and bypass them. You will probably save money on the actual product itself and will definitely save on the ridiculously high shipping costs that Open Sky charges.